Seafront poll reaction: Council ‘has always said’ more consultation will happen

EDDC deputy leader Andrew Moulding. Ref exe 14-16TI 8425. Picture: Terry Ife

EDDC deputy leader Andrew Moulding. Ref exe 14-16TI 8425. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

East Devon District Council (EDDC) says it has always planned more consultation on the future of Exmouth seafront, in response to the result of a parish poll yesterday (Wednesday).

Residents voted in favour of Exmouth Town Council writing to EDDC calling for additional independent consultation on redevelopment plans for Queen’s Drive.

In response, Councillor Andrew Moulding, chairman of EDDC’s Exmouth Regeneration Board and deputy leader of the council, said: “We await the outcome of Exmouth Town Council’s discussions and the district council will pay due regard to what the town council decides to do. The outcome of the poll is not legally binding on the town council or the district council.

“I must stress though, as we have explained before, we have carried out extensive and detailed consultation in Exmouth and there have been numerous opportunities for people to have their say on the future of their town and the seafront.

“Widespread consultation was held during the Exmouth Masterplan exercise in 2010/11 and the Exmouth redevelopment in 2012/13. When outline planning permission for the site was approved in January 2014, the council carried out further public consultation in autumn 2013.

“The district council has always said that more consultation will be carried out by the developers when they bring their proposals forward.

“The developers’ consultation will need to be conducted to the satisfaction of the council, in its capacity as landowner, and will be carried out before any formal detailed planning applications.

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“The planning applications that then follow will reflect this consultation and will be subject to further public consideration during the planning application process.

“The council is very much aware of the mix of views about regenerating Exmouth. “What we are seeking to do is to create jobs, attract new visitors and new businesses with a multi-million pound investment in the seafront.”

Cllr Moulding added that the previous redevelopment of the Strand and the arrival in Exmouth of Premier Inn were examples of previous ‘success’ in boosting visitor numbers and businesses in the town, and hailed the investment of £1.2million in the new Mamhead Slipway.

Earlier today, campaign group Save Exmouth Seafront said that the result of the poll sent a ‘clear message’ that more consultation was needed.

Exmouth Town Council said it would agreed how to respond to the poll at a future meeting, but said the result ‘corroborates the town council’s view that further consultation is desirable’.